There are a lot of people who work very hard to make sure that you have a relaxing and worry-free cruise vacation, so it’s important to recognize their hard work by tipping them for their services. Here are seven people you should be prepared to tip.
1. Curbside Porter
This person quite literally takes a weight off your shoulders by taking your luggage and making sure it gets onto the ship. Just the fact that you won’t have to haul your bags through the cruise terminal and through the check-in lines yourself is well worth the few dollars in tip.
2. Stateroom Attendants
Your stateroom attendant and his or her assistant will service your room twice a day, making sure you have clean sheets, clean towels, and plenty of cute towel animal creations to keep you entertained. Sometimes, they’ll even straighten up your mess for you without putting anything away so you can’t find it later. These people are cleaning up after you so you can spend your time enjoying yourself, which is why it’s important to pay the gratuities on your cruise.
If you’ve tipped a bartender before, you’ve probably noticed your drinks getting a little stronger the longer you hang out at the bar. Unfortunately, the drink packages on cruise ships have decreased the amount of people who tip their bartenders because the price of the package includes 15% gratuity. However, those gratuities are typically divided up among other bar staff as well, so whoever is taking care of you directly will have to split that 15% with other bartenders and behind-the-scenes staff. While the tipping policies vary on different cruise lines, you can for the most part be assured that if you have the drink package and tip an additional $1-2 when you are served a drink, that tip will go directly to the bartender who’s serving you.
4. Dining Staff
Your dining staff work hard every night to serve you a multi-course meal, and it’s unbelievable how effortless it is for them to memorize your name and any dietary needs or restrictions. They go out of their way to make sure you feel like you’re dining like royalty every night, so it’s important to include them in your gratuities as well. And for those cruisers who remove their gratuities from their accounts because they don’t eat in the main dining rooms and think those tips are only going to the main dining room wait staff, those gratuities are typically (every cruise line has its own policy) divided among all food services staff, meaning those would also go to staff serving food on the lido deck and at other restaurants around the ship.
5. Casino Table Staff
If you plan on playing at the casino tables on your cruise, remember to share the wealth with your dealer – whether you’re winning or losing. And yes, you can tip in chips!
6. Excursion Tour Guide
Your tour guides work hard to provide you with a fun day and a taste of the local culture for the short time that you get to spend in port. It’s courteous to tip them appropriately for how hard they’ve worked to make your experience fun and memorable.
7. Shuttle Driver
If you are using a shuttle to get to and from the cruise terminal from a parking lot or an airport, it’s polite to tip your shuttle driver a few bucks. They will help you with getting your luggage on and off the bus; plus they’re getting you to the ship, which is the most important thing!